Home ENTERTAINMENT Dr. Rajkumar’s Kidnapping by Veerappan in 2000 – Revisiting Sandalwood’s Most Famous...

Dr. Rajkumar’s Kidnapping by Veerappan in 2000 – Revisiting Sandalwood’s Most Famous Film Family |

Singanalluru Puttaswamaiah Muthuraj was an Indian actor and singer, who worked in Kannada cinema. One of the most popular actors of his era, the late personality was a mega icon and a socio-cultural symbol of Kannada, who has been credited with redefining Kannada cinema and putting it on the National map, before his demise in the year 2006, at the age of 76. Let’s revisit the family lineage of the late personality and also learn some unknown facts about him…

Dr. Rajkumar, whose real name was Singanalluru Puttaswamaiah Muthuraj, was a famous actor and singer in Kannada cinema. He is considered one of the best actors in Indian cinema history, and is loved by Kannada-speaking people worldwide. He’s known by many titles like Natasaarvabhowma (Emperor of Actors), Bangarada Manushya (Man of Gold), Vara Nata (Gifted actor), Gaana Gandharva (Celestial singer), Rasikara Raja (King of connoisseur), and Rajanna/Annavru (Elder brother, King). Dr. Rajkumar received the Padma Bhushan award in 1983 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1995. He’s also known for winning the National Award for singing, a unique achievement for a lead actor. His movies have been remade an impressive 63 times in nine different languages. This makes him the first actor to have his movies remade more than fifty times, and the first to have them remade in nine different languages. Here’s taking a look at his family tree..


Parvathamma Rajkumar (Wife of Rajkumar)
Parvathamma Rajkumar was a film producer and distributor. She was Dr. Rajkumar’s wife and also his cousin. The couple has five children, namely Puneeth Rajkumar, Dr. Shiva Rajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar, Lakshmi and Poornima. Parvathamma made successful films featuring Dr. Rajkumar and their sons Shiva Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar, and Raghavendra Rajkumar through their production company called “Poornima Enterprises.” She has received several awards including the Phalke Academy award, Kannada Rajyotsava, and a lifetime achievement award from the Government of Karnataka. By 2012, she had produced 80 films. She passed away in 2017, at the age of 77.


Shiva Rajkumar (Son of Rajkumar)
Shiva Rajkumar, known affectionately as Shivanna, is the oldest son of the famous actor Dr. Rajkumar. Shiva Rajkumar started his acting journey as a child artist in the movie “Sri Srinivasa Kalyana” in 1974. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Shiva Rajkumar decided to pursue a career in acting. At the age of 24, he made his debut as a lead actor in his mother’s film production called “Anand” in 1986. The movie was both a critical and commercial success, marking the beginning of Shiva Rajkumar’s successful acting career. In the late 1980s, Shiva Rajkumar starred in several hit films, including the romantic-thriller “Samyuktha” (1988) and the comedy-thriller “Inspector Vikram” (1988). These movies further solidified his position as a prominent actor in the Kannada film industry. Shiva Rajkumar is married to Geetha, who is the daughter of the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, late Sarekoppa Bangarappa. Together, they have two daughters named Niveditha and Nirupama.


Raghavendra Rajkumar (Son of Rajkumar)
Raghavendra Rajkumar, born on August 15, 1965, is an Indian actor, singer, and producer in Kannada cinema. He is the son of renowned actor Dr. Rajkumar and film producer Parvathamma Rajkumar. Raghavendra began his career as a lead actor in the film “Chiranjeevi Sudhakar” in 1988, followed by his notable role in the successful movie “Nanjundi Kalyana” in 1989. During this time, he produced television serials under Poornima Productions and films under Sri Vajreshwari Combines. His comeback film as a villain, “Chillum,” did not materialize. However, in 2019, his lead role in the movie “Ammana Mane” attracted attention, including that of the then Prime Minister of Singapore, who watched the film. Raghavendra is married to Mangala and the couple has two children, named Yuva and Vinay Rajkumar, who is also an actor. In 2013, Raghavendra suffered a stroke and was admitted to a hospital in Singapore. He underwent physiotherapy treatment to aid his recovery.


Vinay Rajkumar (son of Raghavendra Rajkumar )
Vinay Rajkumar is the grandson of actor Rajkumar and son of film producer and former actor Raghavendra. He made his debut as a lead actor in 2014 with Siddhartha. Earlier, his grandfather presented him on-screen at the age of four in the film Aakasmika (1993), followed by appearances in Odahuttidavaru (1994), Anuragada Alegalu (1993) and Navibbaru Namagibbaru (1993), among others.
Puneeth Rajkumar (Son of Rajkumar)
Puneeth Rajkumar (17 March 1975 – 29 October 2021), popularly known as Appu, was an philanthropist, playback singer, television presenter, and producer who worked in Kannada cinema. He was the youngest son of the renowned actor and matinee idol, Dr. Rajkumar. Puneeth was widely celebrated in Kannada cinema and earned the nickname “Power Star” from both media and fans. His acting roles mainly centered around family dramas and action films, while the movies produced under his banner, PRK Productions, focused on comedy dramas with themes of family relationships and social messages. Puneeth starred in several commercially successful films, including “Appu” (2002), “Abhi” (2003), “Veera Kannadiga” (2004), “Mourya” (2004), “Aakash” (2005), “Ajay” (2006), “Arasu” (2007), “Milana” (2007), “Vamshi” (2008), “Raam” (2009), and “Jackie” (2010). Puneeth tied the knot with Ashwini , they met through a mutual friend and are blessed with two daughters named Vanditha and Drithi. His untimely demise in 2021 from a cardiac arrest cast a shadow of gloom in Karnataka. He was given a state funeral that was attended by the then Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai and other leaders.


Lakshmi Govindaraj (Daughter of Rajkumar)
Lakshmi Govindaraj is a well-known businesswoman, and media personality from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Originally named Lakshmi Rajkumar, she enjoys fame as the daughter of the renowned actor and singer Rajkumar. Lakshmi Govindaraj maintains a private life and has not shared many details about herself. It is known that she is married to S. A. Govindaraj, a producer who has worked on several movies throughout his career.
Poornima Puttaswamayya (Daughter of Rajkumar)
Poornima Puttaswamayya is a well-known actress, media figure, and internet personality from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. She was born on October 6, 1972. As the daughter of Dr. Rajkumar, she is widely recognized across the country. Apart from being Dr. Rajkumar’s daughter, Poornima is an actress who has appeared in supporting roles in various movies and television episodes. She got married to Ramkumar on May 3, 1991, surrounded by their family members. Ramkumar is an Indian actor and producer who has appeared in several movies. She shares two children with her husband, Ramkumar. Their son, Dheeren Ramkumar, followed his parents into the acting industry. They also have a daughter named Dhanya Ramkumar, who works in the private sector.
Dheeren Ramkumar (son of Poornima Puttaswamayya)
Dheeren Ramkumar, son of Poornima Puttaswamayya, made his debut with the movie Shiva 143 in 2020, directed by Anil Kumar and produced by Jayanna and Bhogendra. Dheeren’s maternal uncles are Shiva Rajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and late Puneeth Rajkumar.

Dr. Rajkumar’s kidnapping
Around 9:30 pm on July 30, 2000, Veerappan launched an attack on Rajkumar’s farmhouse located in Gajanur, Tamil Nadu, accompanied by a group of armed men numbering between 10 to 12. Rajkumar had journeyed to Gajanur on July 27, 2000, to oversee the house-warming ceremony of a newly constructed house. Just after finishing dinner, Veerappan and his cohorts forcefully entered the premises.
According to Parvathamma Rajkumar, the spouse of Rajkumar, the family was engrossed in watching television when Veerappan intruded into the house, demanding in Kannada, “We want sir!” Rajkumar was escorted outside into the midst of heavy rain. Once outdoors, Veerappan interrogated Rajkumar about other occupants of the house. Utilizing this intel, Veerappan and his gang returned to the residence, abducting Rajkumar’s son-in-law S.A. Govindaraj, another relative named Nagesh, and Nagappa, an assistant film director. Rajkumar was ultimately released after 108 days. Although a police official later asserted that a ransom of 300 million rupees was paid for the actor’s liberation, Rajkumar’s family refuted this allegation.
(With inputs from Kritika Yadav)